About Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. Building on its motto of Ut Prosim (that I may serve), Virginia Tech is dedicated to InclusiveVT—serving in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. We seek candidates who adopt and practice the Principles of Community, which are fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion, and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members. Virginia Tech actively seeks a broad spectrum of candidates to join our community in preparing leaders for the world.
The Senior Director of Communications reports to the Senior Associate Vice President for University Relations, is a member of the Sr. AVP's executive team, and is a member of the senior team of University Relations Directors (Assistant VP for University Relations and directors of News, Media Relations, Content Strategy, Design and Web Development, New Media, and Marketing). University Relations is an integral unit of the Advancement Division at Virginia Tech, which also includes University Development and Alumni Relations. University Relations oversees communications on behalf of the university, the president and the Advancement Division.
The job of the senior director is to develop and disseminate strategic messaging and communications plans with clear line of sight to Virginia Tech's mission, vision, and goals and to the strategic priorities of the Advancement Division. The senior director supervises—directly or via matrix management—the communications directors and professionals in Development Communications, Leadership Giving and the Alumni Association, in administrative units, and in developing areas of university interest. With the Executive team, the senior director leverages the Advancement model to support communications professionals across campus to assure that communications outcomes are aligned with Advancement priorities. The senior director engages in long-term, high-visibility projects in support of division or university priorities.
In agreement with the Senior Associate Vice President of University Relations the senior director leads strategic messaging efforts in support of the priorities of the Advancement Division and senior administration. The role includes the development of communications plan, strategic messaging, fund-raising case statements, and talking points as well as working with colleagues to develop a messaging repository.
As a key member of the leadership team for University Relations the Senior Communications Director works with the Associate Vice President for University Relations to support and communicate the best practices, policies and procedures of University Relations and Advancement under the shared vision of the VP Advancement and the Senior AVP University Relations.
Success in the position is measured by delivery of institutional messaging and case statements; effective working relationships with university communications professionals; alignment of unit work plans with Advancement priorities as well as college/unit goals; and a coherent and effective plan to launch a Sesquicentennial celebration and major fundraising campaign.
Bachelor's degree with significant communications experience or Master's degree
Ability to define goals and objectives, identify audience segments, develop strategic messaging and communications plans, and measure effectiveness
Ability to manage multiple projects with competing priorities; excellent organizational skills; functions effectively with minimal supervision
Demonstrated leadership capacity; ability to exercise independent judgment
Proven ability to mentor and supervise staff in matrix management organization
Experience handling sensitive and confidential information with discretion
Ability to foster effective relationships with senior leadership, deans, faculty, communications professionals, project managers, staff, and students
Evidence of strong writing, editing, interpersonal, and presentation skills
Leadership training and experience developing capacity in nonprofit/higher education organizations
Advanced degree in communications or related field
Leadership experience in higher education, preferably in the Advancement model
Working knowledge of news, media relations, new media, marketing, and creative services in higher education environment
Working knowledge of higher-education fundraising
Proficient with technologies, programs, and platforms in a Mac environment
Employee Category: Administrative and Professional Faculty
Appointment Type: Regular
Tenure Status: Continuous
Percent Employment: Full-time
Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, or veteran status; or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees, or applicants; or any other basis protected by law.
For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the executive director for Equity and Access at 540-231-2010 or Virginia Tech, North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318), 300 Turner St. NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
Review Date: 03/03/2017